Basement Remodeling with Custom Shelves: Bennett Insider Stories

Bennett Insider Stories: Remodeling Houses into Homes

January 2014

Project Type:          Basement Remodel
Length of Project:  4 weeks
Project Cost:          $25,000
Project Manager:   Steve Shanholtz
Lead Carpenter:    Joe Cassidy


The unfinished basement before (inset), and after our complete remodeling and custom cabinetry work.

Basement Remodeling Project with Custom Cabinetry

This month’s featured project is a basement remodeling that turned a cold and dull unfinished basement into a beautiful finished living space with unique custom features.

The homeowners had lived in their Schenectady home for many years, then about ten years ago decided to construct a wonderful living room addition, complete with a full basement below. The thing is…they never finished the new basement space below. Fast forward to 2013, and they decided they had lived with concrete block walls for long enough.

They knew it was time to make the most of the space, so they called us. The homeowners worked with our project manager Steve Shanholtz and our lead carpenter Joe Cassidy to come up with a unique finish to the space, based on their vision, their goals and their budget.

The goals of this basement remodeling project were to:

  1. Maximize resale value of the property – The square footage is there, let’s make it livable!
  2. Create a private guest room – Provide a separate space for visiting family members to stay.
  3. Add ‘wow factor’ to the space – In this case, a custom wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and shelving unit.

The first thing we looked for was a second form of egress or escape (an exit or way out), required by most state building codes when remodeling a basement. The primary egress is usually the stairs leading from the basement to the first floor. A second form of egress may be a large window, a Bilco door or any hinged exterior door – which their basement already had leading to the back patio. Great news!

Then our remodeling team went to work:

  • The concrete block walls were framed out and sheetrocked.
  • Electrical wiring and outlets were installed to meet code.
  • A drop ceiling was installed with recessed lighting.
  • The central air system was tied into the space for heating and air conditioning.
  • A new gas stove was installed to add comfort and charm.
  • A small wet bar was added with a sink.

But the cherry on top was the end wall, in which Joe built custom cabinets, storage and alcove seating. From the moldings to the beadboard panels, no detail was overlooked. Hidden lighting highlights the book shelves and seating alcove for a wonderful accent. The homeowners added their own touch with bright upholstery for color and contrast. They also used massive pieces of slate, salvaged from a historical downtown Albany building’s roof, and installed it as flooring.

When it was all done, the homeowners had a beautiful and cozy basement living area, accented by a dramatic and practical wall-to-wall shelving unit.

If you would like to find out more about basement remodeling, please contact us HERE or call 462-6731 to set up an appointment.


Here you can see the project mid-renovation, in which Joe is framing in the walls and running the electrical wires to the wall outlets.

Basement Remodeling 6

Finished basement remodel

Basement Remodeling 5

Basement Remodeling 4

Basement Remodeling with Custom Shelves